New virus more contagious, spreads more quickly than most - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

New virus more contagious, spreads more quickly than most

(KLTV) -

There's a relatively new virus in the U.S., and it's getting a lot of notice from researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

According to the CDC, norovirus causes your stomach and intestines to become inflamed, giving you stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. This can, in turn, lead to dehydration and, possibly, the need for hospitalization.  In fact, each year, noroviruses cause about 70,000 hospitalizations and 800 deaths, mostly in young children and the elderly, according to Dr. Aron Hall, an epidemiologist at the CDC specializing in norovirus.

A new strain of norovirus is called GII.4 Sydney norovirus; it was identified in March 2012 in Australia. It is especially easily spread, as the majority of Americans don't yet have an immunity to it, and it takes fewer particles of this virus to make you very sick. According to ABC medical contributor Dr. Richard Besser, it takes 1,000 particles of flu virus to make a person sick; however, it only takes 18 particles of the Sydney strain of norovirus to infect a person. Besser also said that this strain can cause you to become ill within just a few hours of exposure, leading researchers and doctors to nickname it the "Ferrari of viruses."

In the U.S, it is now accounting for about 60 percent of all norovirus outbreaks, according to the CDC. As with most viruses, it is most severe in older adults and children, and others with compromised immune systems.

The Sydney strain of norovirus is like other viruses in that it can be spread via food that is not cooked properly or that is handled by an infected person, as well as by physical contact with a surface touched by an infected person who did not wash his hands well enough or at all. However, the CDC says that the newer Sydney strain can also be spread through the air by droplets sprayed when a sick person vomits. The droplets carries particles that can cause illness for several hours.

Since it is a quick-spreading virus, in close quarters like daycare centers, nursing homes, restaurants, malls or schools, it can spread from person to person quickly through the air, by touching a person's hand, touching a surface that was touched by an infected person's hand (even hours after he touched that surface), eating food prepared by someone with the virus or drinking from the cup of someone who has the virus.

It is important to note that the CDC says that hand sanitizers are not enough to kill the Sydney strain of norovirus. It appears to need the friction of thorough  handwashing with soap and water, then rinsing the virus off with the water, to be removed. This does not occur with hand sanitizer.

It is also important to note that  you can still spread the virus up to three days after you feel well again, according to the CDC website.

The CDC offers the following tips to help prevent and control the spread of norovirus:

  • Wash hands thoroughly with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. It is especially important to wash after using the bathroom, changing a baby's diaper, or preparing food.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables well before preparing.
  • Cook foods thoroughly to a temperature of over 140 degrees. Noroviruses are resistant to temperatures up to 140. (Shellfish are especially susceptible to spread the virus)
  • Do not prepare food for others if you are sick.
  • Keep sick children and infants out of food handling areas.
  • Clean and disinfect contaminated areas with chlorine bleach (5-25 tablespoons of household bleach per gallon of water, according to the CDC guidelines.)
  • Wash soiled laundry items thoroughly in hot water at the maximum available wash cycle, and then machine dry them. Wear disposable gloves when handling soiled laundry, if possible, then wash hands thoroughly and dry on paper towels.

Follow these procedures carefully to avoid getting the virus or to avoid spreading the virus after it has been contracted. If you do feel that you are sick, call your doctor or health clinic immediately, drink plenty of fluids, and get as much rest as possible.

Copyright 2013 KLTV. All rights reserved.

 

 

  • Region 8 News</span><a class="customMoreLink" href="/Global/category.asp?C=4391" target="_top">More >></a>Region 8 NewsMore>>

  • Arrest made in robbery case

    Arrest made in robbery case

    Sunday, February 18 2018 4:15 PM EST2018-02-18 21:15:41 GMT
    (Source: Dexter Police Department/Facebook)(Source: Dexter Police Department/Facebook)

    A Southeast Missouri man was in custody Sunday after his arrest in connection with a robbery of a convenience store. 

    A Southeast Missouri man was in custody Sunday after his arrest in connection with a robbery of a convenience store. 

  • breaking

    Man dies in house fire in Blytheville

    Man dies in house fire in Blytheville

    Sunday, February 18 2018 3:53 PM EST2018-02-18 20:53:12 GMT
    Sunday, February 18 2018 4:02 PM EST2018-02-18 21:02:16 GMT

    A 60-year-old man died early Sunday in a house fire as authorities in Blytheville attempt to find out the cause of the fire. 

    A 60-year-old man died early Sunday in a house fire as authorities in Blytheville attempt to find out the cause of the fire. 

  • Man arrested in connection with Dexter robbery

    Man arrested in connection with Dexter robbery

    Sunday, February 18 2018 3:58 PM EST2018-02-18 20:58:39 GMT
    (Source: Dexter Police Department)(Source: Dexter Police Department)

    The Dexter Police Department is looking for a suspect in a robbery investigation. The robbery occurred on Wednesday, February 14, at around 10:42 p.m. at Break Time Convenience Store. The unknown man fled the scene on foot with an unknown amount of cash. The surveillance pictures show the suspect in the store and outside. Anyone with any information about this individual is asked to contact Detective Sergeant Cory Mills at 573-624-5512. Download the KFVS News app: ...

    The Dexter Police Department is looking for a suspect in a robbery investigation. The robbery occurred on Wednesday, February 14, at around 10:42 p.m. at Break Time Convenience Store. The unknown man fled the scene on foot with an unknown amount of cash. The surveillance pictures show the suspect in the store and outside. Anyone with any information about this individual is asked to contact Detective Sergeant Cory Mills at 573-624-5512. Download the KFVS News app: ...

Powered by Frankly